Leaving Earth cover

In 2019 I obtained from my former publisher the last 30 copies of the now out-of-print hardback of Leaving Earth. I sold about half of these, and with only a handful left in stock I have raised the price. To get your own autographed copy of this rare collector's item please send a $75 check (includes $5 shipping) payable to Robert Zimmerman to
 

Behind The Black, c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652
 

I will likely raise the price again when only ten books are left, so buy them now at this price while you still can!

 
Also available as an inexpensive ebook!
 

Leaving Earth: Space Stations, Rival Superpowers, and the Quest for Interplanetary Travel, can be purchased as an ebook everywhere for only $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit.

 

Winner of the 2003 Eugene M. Emme Award of the American Astronautical Society.


"Leaving Earth is one of the best and certainly the most comprehensive summary of our drive into space that I have ever read. It will be invaluable to future scholars because it will tell them how the next chapter of human history opened." -- Arthur C. Clarke

Study: Canada’s nationalized health killed nearly 1,500 Canadians waiting fruitlessly for treatment

Coming to your U.S. health plan soon! A new study has found that almost 1,500 Canadians died in 2018-19 waiting for a life-saving operation, sometimes years, because that nation’s national health system could not serve them.

The survey was also incomplete, covering only about half of Canada’s health system, which means the numbers are almost certainly higher. More significant, the Wuhan panic has made the situation worse.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, there has been a drastic decline in potentially life-saving treatments being conducted by hospitals. According to figures from the Ontario Ministry of Health, between March 15 to September 29, treatments for breast cancer and prostate cancer have gone down 29% and 25% respectively. On average, the province has reported a total of 21% fewer cancer treatments in total.

Surgeries on children were also heavily impacted by the pandemic after reporting a decline of nearly 60%. In comparison, in 2019, 28,844 surgeries were performed on children, while in 2020 there were only 11,230.

But we need to save one life from COVID! One life! It doesn’t matter if thousands of others die from other illnesses, saving people from COVID comes first!

Hat tip Phill Oltmann.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.


He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.
 

10 comments

  • V-Man

    Issues with the Canadian public health system predate COVID. One of my best friends had to wait a full year for life-saving heart surgery (if memory serves, because his assigned surgeon was off on maternity leave). An entire year, unable to work, exhausted and short of breath, holed up in his apartment, wondering every night if he would wake up the next morning.

    On the plus side, he didn’t go bankrupt from the hospital bills. So there’s that.

    Our system works great for two things: 1) costly illness (diabetes, heart issues, etc.) and 2) life-threatening emergencies (car accidents, etc.). Anything else is a nightmare. Need to see a specialist? Get in line. Broken arm but not bleeding? The sole ER doctor should get to you in 12-14 hours. Minor surgery required? See you in two or three years, and here’s some OTC painkillers to help with the wait.

  • David Eastman

    I have a lot of Canadian friends on Facebook, and quite often I see them discussing finally getting a procedure scheduled after a wait of a year or more. And recently, I’ve seen several posts about long awaited procedures being cancelled. But they all get quite offended if I point out that you can’t say that your government is giving you free healthcare, if it’s not actually providing the care.

  • Bob Weinmann

    I worked for a Canadian software company a while back, and the head sales person had torn a knee ligament while para-sailing on vacation. She hobbled around on crutches for more than 18 months waiting for the arthroscopic surgery. Imagine the lost productivity traveling around the US selling software while on crutches. The icing on the cake was when her primary care doctor had to prescribe a custom knee brace because her knee was starting to go sideways due to the injury!

    We down here in the US were flabbergasted, but she seemed to be ok with the situation. Canadians are the nicest people. Too nice to complain about anything, though.

  • m d mill

    I completely agree that the US has grossly overreacted in so many ways to the covid infection. It has not just been unnecessarily devastating to the economy, savings, education and society but unnecessarily deadly as described above. Ironically, even the George Floyd manslaughter and all the resultant death and riotous destruction would have been avoided had he not lost his job solely due to the lock-down of his place of employment.

  • Phill O

    On a personal note, it took 5 years to get back surgery in Alberta, gauged from time zero being back injections to final diagnosis and finally surgery. We speed the system up by privately purchasing an MRI (saved 8 months from the government one). In the mean time, I had to sell my honeybee operation. If one goes outside the system, they will not look at you after. So, I went from being productive, to drawing from the system. A private option that was timely, I could have scheduled around the beekeeping year and still been in business.

    Now, I have had 3 years of quarterly cortisone injections to the knee and the surgeon indicated yesterday that it would be at least 1 1/2 years to the preop consultation, and it seems there is a bout a 1 year wait after that. He indicated the government limits the number of knee replacements and there are a lot of folk in the same situation.

    By the way, when I contacted the hospital in Silver City NM, they were al apologetic that there was a 4 WEEK wait time. Be still my heart. If I have to pay out of pocket, I will lose my house. Canadians are taxed big time for the “FREE” health care.

    However, if you are in an accident with major injuries, the system works. Also works if you (illicit) drug overdoes at a party, and no fines for Covid rules disregard while BBQ pit gets fines for trying to sell food.

    The second wave (Justin Trudeau) has hit Canada much harder than the first wave (Pierre Elliot Trudeau).

    AND, folk in the USA want this? It is far worse in Australia and great Briton, from what friends have told me.

    Now with the prospect of Biden in the White House, there is no where on earth to flee (IMHO).

  • Phill O

    Bob Weinmann “Canadians are the nicest people. Too nice to complain about anything, though.”

    I might want to disagree on that!

    The Calgary city council had to backtrack on their “De-fund the Police” initiative due to intense complaint.

    We need to rise up on the lack of timely health care! And in a bug way!

  • pzatchok

    WOW. Years for knee replacements?

    My uncle went to the VA to ask about his knees. He was 70 at the time.
    They asked him if he had a doctor he would like to use or if their choice was good enough. A week later he had the operation scheduled and had the first knee replaced in 5 weeks. While he was walking on it a few days later the Doctor told him he should have done both at once and scheduled him for the second 4 weeks later.
    He was back to gardening and cutting the lawn 2 months after that.

    Between his Medicare. union retirement benefits and his VA benefits he paid nothing. Not a dime. He would have had to pay for his meds were it not for his union benefits.

    Good thing America doesn’t have socialized medicine as good as the rest of the world.

  • I’ve noted that about (aboot?) the only folks in favor of socialized medicine are those that don’t have to live with it. One of my sisters went to school in Canada, injured her ACL playing hockey and had to wait months for the surgery. Sure, she was an alien, but the hockey connection alone should be worth a few months. She could have had the same procedure in the US in a few weeks. But she would have had to pay for it. On the other hand, and I told her, body don’t stop. The injury will not get better during the time.

    Similar experience in England. Jevon’s Paradox. People value things that cost them: not so much the reverse.

  • Phill O

    When it is “free” there are abuses big time! Small town hospitals are much easier to get prompt attention. (In Canada eh)

  • John

    When I was in college, my father had chest pains and got a quadruple bypass so quickly, I didn’t find out until afterwards.

    Fast forward a few years and a Canadian colleague had chest pains while playing hockey. He was told 95% blockage he and would die without surgery. He got put on a waiting list. I got a contemplative and introspective e-mails from him. He was high priority on the list and only had to wait something like 2-3 weeks, and lived.

    Years later we were entertaining some German colleagues in Manhattan. Some of the them freaked out and went bonkers over first pharmacy they saw. They brought as much as they could carry. Didn’t care as much for the great dinner and the view from the top of the WTC. One of the Germans who kept his cool was embarrassed and explained over the counter pharmaceuticals were much more expensive in Germany.

    A young me couldn’t help but notice the difference between countries. People here will be getting exactly what they deserve when they allow the government to further screw with healthcare.

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